Toronto goes to the polls

Two of the three mayoralty candidates in this Toronto civic election had green credentials:  Olivia Chow, who was endorsed by Elizabeth May, and John Tory, who has been active in local environmental projects.  Both these candidates included environmental planks in their election platform directed at climate change.. Just before voting day, both the Toronto Star … Read more

Toronto Trees Threatened!

These words were the banner for a 4RG Community Forum held Thursday, February 13th.  As every Torontonian knows the threat had already arrived on the city’s doorstep:  a December ice storm that caused extensive losses to the urban forest, estimated by some to approach 40% of the existing canopy.

Some people may be sceptical of these losses, calculated at millions of dollars.  They don’t realize that trees are on our side when it comes to the battle against GreenHouse Gases.  Just as the actions of individuals can assist by reducing their carbon footprint, so each tree is a carbon sink.  Read on!

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Why a community forum on trees?

Toronto has been described as a “city of trees”.   This description reflected a civic belief that trees were an amenity that mitigated the impact of intense urban construction.  Yet over the years the citizens of Toronto have tolerated “densification”, a policy of current city planners. As buildings grow taller and crowd out to the boundaries of property, trees disappear.

I recall a law school lecture on planning where the lecturer, a downtown Toronto lawyer, explained that it was less expensive for his clients to take down trees and retain him if there were any legal repercussions.  In the long run, this was cheaper than engaging in long negotiations with neighbours.

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